A family vacation is one way through which the mind and the soul get refreshed and powered to get back into whatever one is doing. I am pursuing my 12th grade and hence taking a vacay is undoubtedly one of the best things I could have done before getting ready for model mock exams. The boiling level I had been experiencing was probably one thing that made my mother decide that we should be getting away to someplace nice for a weekend. It could also be a way through which we could be visiting our grandparents as the place we had decided to visit was at Kerala. Since dad was free only during the weekends, mom had taken them in charge of planning and getting the vacation set. Since my cousin had also been appearing for his board exams for his 10th grade, they had also been joining us from Bangalore. Kerala tour had been booked through a travel planner named Gogeo Holidays where they had got us a Customised tour package for travel and so with fewer tensions on how good the vacay will turn out, we bag packed and get set to go to Kerala from Bangalore.
We directly flew to Kochi from where the chauffeur who was sent to us by the tour planners picked us up and first rode to a restaurant for breakfast. The vehicle was a traveller which could easily fit 15 people while there were just 8 of us which included both the families. So with extra comfort, we continued our journey where I went to the back seat to lay down for some time. The destination we had been travelling was Munnar and I had never been to this part of Kerala. Both my parents ancestral homes were located at Kozhikode and the only places we had been to was Kozhikode and Guruvayoor. The excitement was much more than usual vacays as it was a great escape from bookish talks and tuitions. It was three hours ride to ‘The Kashmir of south India’ and the journey proceeded as we began rolling up the hill station. The driver had been showering out the spots we could be seeing and the places where we could be stopping to see the beautiful sights that fill in the entire place. When we reached Adimaly, all the windows were scrolled down as from here on, there is absolutely no requirement of air conditioners that the normal air will keep us chilled. Even though Bangalore has a winter season, this fresh sort of feeling was hard to get due to all the smog from the vehicles.
The driver took a halt at a place where there was scope for elephant safari. Even though initially both the mothers disapproved of the idea of climbing above an elephant, we sort of convinced her and then the real adventure began. We walked to the place where the elephants had been standing apparently after a feast of their food. They seemed quite playful and absolutely okay with our presence who when the instructor asked to sit down, turned out to be very obedient and helped me and my cousin climb up. Both dad and uncle started to click our pictures and we felt quiet tiny sitting on the mammal. It was a short walk of 5 minutes and I already felt quite attached to the elephant. We gave him some treats that the instructor handed us and swayed bye to him. The drive continued and the halt happened at the Eravikulam National Park. Known to be the place that protects the Nilgiri Thars from extinction, other animals can also be seen inside. We took the entry tickets and the whole family walked inside where sighting the Thars was the easiest as they had been grazing the grass in groups. Macaques were around as well and the sounds of various birds could also be heard. Bannerghatta National Park at Bangalore was the only place I had been to before where we had got to see the animals slaying in their natural habitats. Here, it seemed like other than the Thars, it was hard to view the other animals. We got out as the place had got busy with a lot of tourists and buses. We took the same route and rode to the Lakkam Waterfalls.
A number of vehicles were also located here from where we got some lays and mango juice for refreshment. It was the time for lunch but we decided to postpone it for some time until we got to see a good place to eat. The entry tickets were taken and from there we got into the falls. There was an option to trekking but since we had plans to trek to other destination, we did not want to get tired at the place. The steps led us to a tiny but beautiful waterfall. We walked through the water streams and rocks where the cold water had been a treat to the legs. We sat on the rocks and posed for the pictures that mom had been clicking with her phone. I stood under the gushing water and the feel was the best of the day until now. The crazy part of the whole family got out and the real enjoyment happened in the place. We walked back to the vehicle and got the towel and clothes to change. The next place was where we required extra energy as a mini trekking was on the cards at Top Station. The Savandurga Hill was the last place I had trekked from Bangalore and it had almost required a whole day. The driver said us that we could be trekking down and getting back in an hour and a half. The drive was quite long and since our place of residence for the night was located close by, it would turn out more convenient for us to rest after the trek.
Dad fetched the tickets and we began walking down the steps. Even though initially it felt easy for us to walk down, as we crossed 5 minutes of walking down it got hard for the mothers. We slowed the pace of rushing and took several stops in the midway to click some pictures. The fog had covered most of the place and this feeling was absolutely awesome. In around 20 minutes, we got to the major viewpoint of the place.and what we had been open to was the view of the pristine Munnar. It slew the freshest form of nature I had ever seen until now. All of us sat there for a long time that almost one hour passed by. And then the walk back started which was the hardest. We took several stops in the midway and finally held on to the rope that had been there like railings to get back. Finally got back and directly went to the restaurant that had been there as the hunger call was strong. We had tummy full and then went to the resort. A small campfire and enjoyment happened where we had dinner and then a smooth sleep.
The next day we checked out of the resort after breakfast and then drove to the Echo station. As we reached I got to see the horses there and insisted that we take a short horseback ride as well. We also took several family pictures as a photographer was there who instantly printed the picture for us. The Mattupetty dam was the final destination where we walked through the walkway. The drive back to Ernakulam started as we had to catch the train to Kozhikode to visit the grandparents and then return to Bangalore the next day. Even though a short trip, the vibe was totally refreshing and I was taken aback by how beautiful a place could be and how that could help us all. I was sure glad that we had taken a Tour package and the whole family had had a great time. Kerala indeed is the Gods own country and the best host to any traveller.